By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Courtesy pool photographer Ygnacio
Nanetti/The Orange County RegisterHaidl gang-rape trial watchers know that defense lawyers say Jane Doe encouraged the July 2002 attack because the girl, then 16, enjoyed parties, shaved her pubic hair, often didn't wear underwear and, apparently, liked to give blowjobs.
It's been a well-orchestrated effort to forestall jury sympathy for Doe. Prosecutors say the girl was unconscious from alcohol and drugs when Greg Haidl, Keith Spann and Kyle Nachreiner videotaped themselves having sex with Doe, inserting such foreign objects as a pool cue and Snapple bottle into her vagina and anus during a Newport Beach party. Later, Haidl happily showed his 21-minute film to friends—and then lost the video to police, who thought the defendants had had sex with a corpse. It's against California law to have sex with someone who cannot consent throughout the act.
But just as in the first trial, which ended last year in deadlock, Doe is really the person on trial. She has been mercilessly grilled on the witness stand for four days. The aggressive defense team wants the jury to believe the girl was a slut and therefore the defendants reasonably assumed she would have consented if awake.
To prove this point on Feb. 22, defense lawyer Peter Morreale forced Doe to repeatedly say "blowjob" in front of the jury. He then asked her detailed questions about orally copulating defendant Spann—her then-boyfriend, weeks before the alleged gang rape. It's Morreale's hope the jury will conclude Doe is trash because she allegedly swallows semen after orally copulating her boyfriends. Here's a taste of Morreale's questions:
In response to that question, an embarrassed Doe said she used a cloth.
On a defense team full of showboaters, Morreale is the polite, soft-spoken lawyer, but even he couldn't resist the smear. He responded contemptuously, "Uh-huh."